American English

American English
RegionUnited States
Native speakers
225 million, all varieties of English in the United States (2010 census)[1]
25.6 million L2 speakers of English in the United States (2003)
Early forms
Latin (English alphabet)
Unified English Braille[2]
Official status
Official language in
32 US states, 5 non-state US territories[a]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
GlottologNone
IETFen-US[3][4]
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American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US),[b] sometimes called United States English or U.S. English,[5][6] is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.[7] Currently, American English is the most influential form of English worldwide.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

English is the most widely spoken language in the United States and is the de facto common language used by the federal and state governments, to the extent that all laws and compulsory education presume English as the primary language. English is explicitly given official status by 32 of the 50 state governments.[14][15] While the local courts in some divisions of the United States grant equivalent status to both English and another language—for example, English and Spanish in Puerto Rico—under federal law, English is still the official language for any matters being referred to the United States district court for the territory.[16]

American English varieties include many patterns of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and particularly spelling that are unified nationwide but distinct from other English dialects around the world.[17] Any American or Canadian accent perceived as free of noticeably local, ethnic, or cultural markers is popularly called "General" or "Standard" American, a fairly uniform accent continuum native to certain regions of the U.S. and associated nationally with broadcast mass media and highly educated speech. However, historical and present linguistic evidence does not support the notion of there being one single "mainstream" American accent.[18][19] The sound of American English continues to evolve, with some local accents disappearing, but several larger regional accents having emerged in the 20th century.[20]

  1. ^ English (United States) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "Unified English Braille (UEB)". Braille Authority of North America (BANA). November 2, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "English"; IANA language subtag registry; named as: en; publication date: 16 October 2005; retrieved: 11 January 2019.
  4. ^ "United States"; IANA language subtag registry; named as: US; publication date: 16 October 2005; retrieved: 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ Plichta, Bartlomiej, and Dennis R. Preston (2005). "The /ay/s Have It: The Perception of /ay/ as a North-South Stereotype in the United States English." Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 37.1: 107–130.
  6. ^ Zentella, A. C. (1982). Spanish and English in contact in the United States: The Puerto Rican experience. Word, 33(1–2), 41.
  7. ^ Crystal, David (1997). English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-53032-3.
  8. ^ Engel, Matthew (2017). That's The Way It Crumbles: the American Conquest of English. London: Profile Books. ISBN 9781782832621. OCLC 989790918.
  9. ^ "Fears of British English's disappearance are overblown". The Economist. July 20, 2017. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Harbeck, James (July 15, 2015). "Why isn't 'American' a language?". www.bbc.com. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  11. ^ Reddy, C. Rammanohar. "The Readers' Editor writes: Why is American English becoming part of everyday usage in India?". Scroll.in. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  12. ^ "Cookies or biscuits? Data shows use of American English is growing the world over". Hindustan Times. The Guardian. July 17, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  13. ^ Gonçalves, Bruno; Loureiro-Porto,José J. Ramasco,David Sánchez, Lucía; Ramasco, José J.; Sánchez, David (May 25, 2018). "Mapping the Americanization of English in space and time". PLOS ONE. 13 (5): e0197741. arXiv:1707.00781. Bibcode:2018PLoSO..1397741G. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0197741. PMC 5969760. PMID 29799872. Retrieved September 10, 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Crawford, James (February 1, 2012). "Language Legislation in the U.S.A." languagepolicy.net. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  15. ^ "U.S. English Efforts Lead West Virginia to Become 32nd State to Recognize English as Official Language". us-english.org. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "48 U.S. Code § 864 – Appeals, certiorari, removal of causes, etc.; use of English language | LII / Legal Information Institute". Law.cornell.edu. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  17. ^ Kretzchmar 2004, pp. 262–263.
  18. ^ Labov (2012:1–2)
  19. ^ Kretzchmar 2004, p. 262.
  20. ^ "Do You Speak American?: What Lies Ahead?". PBS. Retrieved August 15, 2007.


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